Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Alternatives to AthensVarieties of Political Organization and Community in Ancient Greece$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Roger Brock and Stephen Hodkinson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258109

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258109.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2021

Theognis: An Alternative to Democracy

Theognis: An Alternative to Democracy

(p.35) 2 Theognis: An Alternative to Democracy
Alternatives to Athens


Oxford University Press

Many Greek alternatives to democracy have been discussed, from confederacy to monarchy, but none has considered trampling it underfoot. Trampling, however, is the recommended treatment for the ‘empty-headed dēmos’ in verses ascribed to the poet Theognis (847-50). Trample on them, poke them with a sharp goad, burden them with a heavy yoke, and in the Theognidean view, you will never find a ‘dēemos’ so fond of its master. This chapter addresses two questions: was the author of this poetry voicing an ‘alternative to democracy’ and, if not to democracy, to what? Secondly, did his poetry live on and contribute to such an alternative anywhere after his lifetime? The second question is one of reception, but there is a time and place in which there is evidence to make it worth asking.

Keywords:   democracy, Theognis, poetry

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .